18/02/2011 - 10:44

UK bank buys into Wellard Group for $83m

18/02/2011 - 10:44

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UK finance group Standard Chartered has bought into Perth-based livestock exporter Wellard Group for $83 million, in a move Wellard says will boost its growth ambitions throughout Asia.

UK bank buys into Wellard Group for $83m

UK finance group Standard Chartered has bought into Perth-based livestock exporter Wellard Group for $83 million, in a move Wellard says will boost its growth ambitions throughout Asia.

Standard Chartered Private Equity will invest $83 million in Wellard, which is the world's largest exporter of livestock, via a convertible note, and will become the second largest shareholder in the company.

The Balzarini family will remain the company's majority shareholder through its current shareholding and a $22 million convertible note issued on the same terms as SCPEL.

Standard Chartered Bank has also been appointed Wellard's global banking provider.

Wellard executive chairman Mauro Balzarini said the partnership would enhance the group's ability to meet increasing demand for protein in established and emerging markets in the Middle East, eastern Europe, south east Asia and China.

Based in Fremantle, Wellard has been exporting livestock and grain through its subsidiaries, Wellard Rural Exports and Wellard Agri, for 30 years.

""Wellard has built a substantial livestock and grain production, trading and distribution business, operating in the Asian, Middle Eastern, European and South American regions," Mr Balzarini said.

"The company has grown from a supplier of live sheep to the Middle East and live cattle to Indonesia to a large agricultural trading business with operations across five continents.

"Consumer demand for protein is increasing and Wellard is perfectly placed to utilise our international infrastructure, expertise, experience and extensive business partnerships to supply that increased demand. In addition, the strategic desire of some countries to build their domestic herds plays to our ability to source high quality breeding stock.

"The partnership with SCPEL provides an even greater capital base to invest in businesses, assets and a larger marketing footprint to achieve that goal."

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